Title page
Table of Contents

Chapter One
1.1       Introduction
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Research Questions
1.4       Aim of the Study
1.5       Significance of the Study
1.6       Delimitation of the Study
1.7       Operational Definition of Key Terms

Chapter Two
2.1       Conflict: Conceptual Clarifications
2.2       Background to Ethno-Religious Conflicts in Nigeria
2.2.1 The Jos Crisis
2.2.2 Boko Haram Insurgence
2.2.3 Level of Insecurity in Northern Nigeria
2.3       Media Reportage of Crisis: The Nigerian Perspective
2.4       Newspaper Reportage of Some Ethno-Religious Crises
2.4.1 Challenges facing Conflict Reporters in Nigeria
2.5       Theoretical Framework
2.5.1    Framing Theory
2.5.2    Framing Theory: A Critique
2.5.3    Gap in Literature

Chapter Three
3.1       Introduction
3.2       Research Designs
3.3       Type and Sources of Data
3.4       Content Universe
3.5       Sampling Technique
3.6       Technique of Data Gathering
3.7       Content Categorisation/Unit of Analysis
3.7.1    Content Category
3.7.2    Unit of Analysis
3.8       Instrument of Data Collection
3.8.1    Coding Sheet
3.8.2    In-depth Interview Schedule
3.8.3    Coder Reliability
3.9       Method of Data Presentation and Analysis

Chapter Four
4.1       Introduction
4.2       Presentation of Quantitative Data to measure Objectives
4.3       Discussion of Major Findings

Chapter Five
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendations
5.4       Limitations to the Study
5.5       Contribution to Knowledge
5.6       Suggestion for Further Studies

The upsurge in the rate at which ethno-religious conflicts do break out across Nigerian cities especially in northern part is worrisome. It has put the unity and harmonious co-existence among the various ethnic and religious groups under serious threat. Nigerian press as the watch-dog of the society has covered this endemics deficiently. The inadequacy in the coverage pattern has compounded the challenges faced by the federal government in attempting to arrest the incessant crises. The objectives of the study are: to know the level of prominence Nigerian Newspapers gave to coverage of ethno-religious conflicts; the extent at which they ensure balance, if they have been responsible in their reportage of the conflicts and if ownership interests do influence coverage of conflict stories. Employing the mixed method of data gathering, the study content analysed the daily and weekend editions of TribuneSun and Daily Trust Newspapers on the coverage of Jos crisis and Boko Haram Insurgence (Ethno-Religious conflicts) for a period of twenty months (April, 2010- December 31, 2012). In addition, Six conflict reporters from the three sampled Newspapers were also selected for In-depth Interview. The Framing theory of the media was employed as the theoretical framework. Findings revealed that Daily Trust was less sensational while, Sun and Tribune tended to be sensational in that, most of their stories with screaming headlines ran from front page to inside page. Daily Trust Newspaper did well at balancing its report by allotting more space for stories written in full pages while Sun and Tribune allocated less space hence, level of balance in their stories were affected. Accordingly, during the study period, the papers gave high prominence to coverage of Jos crisis and Boko Haram Insurgence by publishing (42.6%) of the stories as front page, they are responsible in that most (56%) of the stories were tucked inside and a minimal (1.2%) on back pages. More so, most (84.0%) of the stories were written as Straight News as „major‟ form with minimal feature (11.2%), letter (1.5%), editorial (1.2%), the use of evocative pictures were also de-emphasized (20.6%), the sampled papers were neutral (58.1%), negative (38.7%) minimally (3.3%) positive in their reports. The study then concludes, that contrary to the widely held view that Nigerian Media indulge in unethical conduct in its reportage of ethno-religious crisis, and that ownership pattern do influence to some extent media content the Media, still do strive to ensure ethical reporting, and they also practice responsible journalism. It then recommends among others that Journalists should be properly trained on media ethics so as to ensure that they write balanced and objective stories and, strive to be responsible when presenting information on conflicts to the general public.

1.1 Introduction
Nigeria‟s socio-political and economic landscape has been blighted by the endemic twin,

religious and ethnic violence. The widespread frustration and deep sense of insecurity to life and

property, occasioned by this epidemic, has become a matter of grave concern to government, security agencies and the Nigerian citizenry at large (Nwosu, 2003). Neither the urban nor rural is immune to civil, ethnic, political and religious violence which, in the last decade, have plagued Nigeria and currently threaten to tear communities and ethnic groups apart. The state of insecurity in Nigeria today is such that it is not an overstatement to conclude that the Nigerian nation is under heavy siege. In Kaduna, Kano and Jos, Plateau State for example, the spirit of oneness, peace and unity among the various group that have been living together for decade has varnished as the residential patterns now took the form of „we‟ versus „them‟. The situation has become most critical, consequent upon the apparent helplessness of the security agencies to stem the tide of the crisis. Falola (1998) asserts that when the country won its independence in 1960, the most destabilizing factor was ethnicity. Religion has also been identified as another factor. As Soola (2009) opines, the current spate of crime and violence in Nigeria dates back to the end of the Nigerian civil war in 1970 when arms began to filter through into unauthorised hands.

Egwu (2013) asserts that Ethnicity and religion are real and are identities that people are willing to die for. Though meant to draw man closer to his creator as well as serve as channel for communication, the role of religion as a way of communing with God has been greatly abused in Nigeria. It is exploited and manipulated by those who can use them to cause problem meanwhile, religion is a double-edged sword that can create, acquiesce or fuel fights against injustice. Soola (2009) posits that......

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